Ratatouille Ride Coming to Epcot
Update: after months of rumors that a family-friendly, trackless dark ride based upon Ratatouille would be coming to Epcot’s France pavilion at Walt Disney World, the new attraction has finally been confirmed! Officially, the attraction is set to open by 2021 in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Unofficially, the plan is to debut the ride by Summer 2020.
Permits have been filed, and for roughly the last year, construction has been occurring on a large plot of land including the expansion pad behind France and Morocco. In this post, we’ll take a look at those permits, and also offer some thoughts on Ratatouille: the Adventure (which we’ve experienced at the Walt Disney Studios Park).
In fact, progress on Ratatouille: the Adventure (the likely–but not confirmed–name of the ride) is now vertical! We’ve been documenting this for the last year, and progress is moving quickly. See for yourself: we do monthly updates on the biggest construction projects at Walt Disney World, you can see a listing of our latest updates here.
Note: what follows is the rumors for the Ratatouille dark ride, as written prior to Disney officially announcing the attraction at the D23 Expo…
This rumor has been floating around since construction was underway on the Disneyland Paris version of the attraction, and in recent months, it has gained momentum. In our 8 Huge Epcot Rumors post, we ranked this as the #1 rumor based upon likelihood of occurring. These permits bring us one step closer to Ratatouille: the Adventure being officially announced by Disney.
At this point, the only reason an announcement would not occur at the D23 Expo (click here to read our other D23 Expo predictions and rumors) is if Disney is waiting until April 4, 2018, so they can have some epic news for World Rat Day. (Respect.) If you want to see for yourself what the permits entail, click here. I’m not adept at analyzing this sort of thing, so you probably should look for yourself and draw your own conclusions. With that said, here’s my analysis…
My initial take was that this could be one of two things: either a new World Showcase pavilion (also rumored) or Ratatouille: the Adventure. It’s important to note that the permit does not indicate the substance of what’s being developed, as it pertains to stormwater management (a necessary precursor to any substantive plans).
Upon closer inspection of the permits, it seems less likely to be a stand-alone pavilion. While it takes up an expansion pad that was set aside for an entire country, too much of this work is back-of-house in France. There’s also also some indication that whatever is built will be concealed from the existing World Showcase promenade, which wouldn’t make sense if it’s a new pavilion.
I’ve cobbled together the below illustration by overlaying the area of the permit onto a Google Maps view of the current France and Morocco pavilions. It’s imprecise, but should give you a better idea of what’s being impacted–and not impacted–by this permit…
To me, that suggests that this is an extension of France. While the area of the permit is pretty large (nearly 6 acres), once you add landscaping and a queue to the large show building, it seems about right.
Below is another rudimentary illustration I’ve made, showing the size of the show building (outlined in blue) for Ratatouille: the Adventure in Walt Disney Studios Park. Presumably/hopefully, Epcot won’t be getting Bistrot Chez Remy, so I’ve limited my outline to what I believe is the main show building, which more or less matches the ride blueprint…
Compare that to the nearby Toy Story Land for scale. Pretty large.
Okay, let’s star discussing the plans for Epcot by addressing the fate of Impressions de France. It’s no secret that this is one of our favorite attractions at Walt Disney World. Heck, we named our “Impressions de Bricker Trip Report” after it, and have now visited over half of the filming locations in France’s travelogue. (Yes, on purpose.)
My feelings about Impressions de France are a bit…complicated? There is no ideal scenario here. As is, the attraction is dated (although surprisingly not as bad as it could be). However, I don’t want to see it updated because I fear we’d end up with another leaning, CGI’d-out Eiffel Tower. If it were to close for Ratatouille: the Adventure, I’d be sad, but I’d also realize it had an exceptional, longer-than-expected run.
My best-case scenario for Impressions de France is it just continuing its run as long as possible, as-is. If the permits are any indication, there’s a fairly decent chance of exactly that happening. As it stands, it appears that the queue for Ratatouille: the Adventure will start on the far (U.K.) side of the France pavilion, wind behind the current pavilion, and have the show building situated between France and Morocco.
Frankly, I find this difficult to believe. Plans are not concrete until they’re, well, concrete, and it would make far more sense to enter through what’s currently the Impressions de France entrance rather than an out-of-the-way side location. Plus, Imagineering has a recent history of turning World Showcase theater space into queue space.
It just seems odd that Disney would make an effort to save a 35-year old film, even one with (presumably?) minimal operational and upkeep costs. Who knows, though. Maybe Bob Iger is low-key a member of the Brenda the Sheep Appreciation Society, and has demanded that Impressions de France be saved at all costs.
Like France itself, Impressions de France is beautiful and (mostly) timeless, so I hope it keeps running for another couple of decades. Now, let’s turn to some thoughts on Ratatouille: the Adventure.
Our opinion of Ratatouille: the Adventure is also no secret. In my Ratatouille: the Adventure Ride Review, I had a lot of criticism to offer. It’s a “cute little attraction” at best, and a weak one if you consider that it’s not just a “little attraction.” It’s one with an E-Ticket budget that anchors a mini-land in the Walt Disney Studios Park.
We understand that a lot of people are excited at the prospect of Ratatouille: the Adventure. For the most part, we assume this is on the basis of seeing videos on YouTube (which in this case do it “injustice” by concealing some of the weaknesses) and the concept in isolation. We were excited to experience this attraction for the first time, too. On paper, the idea is brilliant, and could be an exceptional attraction if well-executed.
Unfortunately, it’s sloppily executed, and there are only flashes of that brilliance in the actual ride experience, and many more instances of immersiveness and suspension of disbelief failing due to subpar design. Its integration of screens and physical sets is amateurish, and falls well short of Universal efforts like Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and even Transformers: the Ride.
I know others disagree with me, and Ratatouille: the Adventure’s popularity bears out that I’m “wrong.” I’d liken Ratatouille: the Adventure to Toy Story Mania. I don’t necessarily have anything against Toy Story Mania, but its guest satisfaction ratings confound me. It’s routinely ranked as one of the top 5 attractions at Walt Disney World by guests, which is puzzling to me given its lack of depth and simplicity. I don’t completely agree with those who call it a “moving Wii game” but they aren’t that far off.
If Toy Story Mania were just viewed as a third-tier attraction–the kind that rounds out a day in the park and isn’t a ‘flagship’ or E-Ticket draw, I’d have no issue with it. I think the experience is very fun even if I don’t think it’s an objectively good attraction. The ride more or less lives up to its full potential. For what it is, it’s a good addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
By contrast, I don’t see such a way to view Ratatouille: the Adventure in this light. I’ve heard it described as a high-tech Fantasyland dark ride to hedge expectations. While I can appreciate that angle, for me it will always come back to cost and potential. This is a pricey attraction, and one with a ton of (unrealized) potential.
My hope is that someone in Imagineering agrees with this assessment and calls for some design changes in the clone. Walt Disney Imagineering has learned a thing or two about using screens in the years since this was first built. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure demonstrates that Imagineering is capable of “out-screening” Universal Creative (but that attraction also probably had a budget that would make Ratatouille’s look meager). Pandora likewise uses screens effectively. There’s no excuse for another amateurish screen-based production in 2020 (or whenever this opens).
It seems like some of the tweaks that could be made to improve Ratatouille: the Adventure would not be too difficult, but then again, what do I know? I just complain about stuff on the internet, I have no actual experience with design or engineering.
If changes are made to improve the immersiveness of Ratatouille: the Adventure, it’s an addition to Epcot that works for me. This is the direction that Epcot is trending and has been for years; if more characters are going to be added to the park (and they are!), I’d rather they be in sensible ways. Ratatouille feels like a love letter to Paris, and because of that, I think its presence feels appropriate in circa-2017 Epcot. I don’t think Bistrot Chezy Remy fits into World Showcase tonally (its design is way too cartoonish), so I’m glad that it does not appear to be in the cards for Epcot. As it stands, the current France pavilion should serve as a nice buffer/transition into the France of Ratatouille. In short, I could see this working…I could also see it being a disappointment if it’s a direct clone. We shall see what the future holds!
What do you think about adding Ratatouille: the Adventure to the France pavilion in Epcot? If you’ve experienced the version in the Walt Disney Studios Park, what did you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any other thoughts about the future or long-term vision for Epcot? Any questions? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share in the comments below!
Hi disney all characters, and Ruben Rivera,
How are you today I like to go to Orlando excited Disney world Epcot to new ride remy ratatouille I like it back to normal and welcome back to Disney world in December 2020 magic kingdom, animal kingdom and Disney springs downtown Disney one day and adult good new boyfriend tommy dulaney/Tommy man’s camera and adult autograph book meets and greets Disney all characters photos in 2020-2021-2022-2023-2024-2025-2099. Next springs may 8, 2021-2022-2023-2024-2025-2026-2027-2028-2099 Tommy dulaney/tommy-man birthday perhaps I like to go to Orlando excited Disney world and islands of adventure marvel superhero island. I miss you so much. Good luck have fun see you later. I’ll be there in December 2020.
Tommy dulaney/Tommy man, John and jack and Teresa dulaney of Bronson Florida
The Disney Parks blog post announcing it said it would be similar to “Ratatouille: The Adventure” at WDSP.
That makes me think it won’t be a direct clone and may fix some of the mentioned problems.
I would hope that they’d perhaps look at building the Be Our Guest trackless ride coming to Tokyo Disney here in the France Pavillion. It would fit in the France Pavilion, would capitalise on the success of the new live action movie, and would hopefully be better done that Ratatouille (I haven’t experience the attraction myself but have watched videos and agree it doesn’t look anywhere near as brilliant as Mystic Manor or Pooh’s Hunny Hunt which use the same technology).
OLC (owner of Tokyo Disneyland) has released a budget for that attraction and the area around it, and it’s $750 million. By contrast, estimates of the Ratatouille dark ride put it at around $100-150 million.
There is a lot to be done at Epcot, I cannot imagine Disney dropping $750 million on a single attraction. Even if BatB is significantly better, it just is not worth it given what Epcot needs elsewhere.
Ratatouille is the most obvious transplant into DIsney World from another resort. Disney does seem to fix the little problems with new versions of an attraction so we can all hope Ratatouille 2.0 will be an upgrade.
The imagineers have consistently brought their A-game in recent years. For me, the biggest miss (really the only miss) in recent years has been the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. It’s billed as a big attraction but is simply a Fantasyland C-ticket dark ride. It would have been far more magical with a Peter Pan’s Flight ride technology. As it is, we slide along in the muck at the bottom of the sea.
We like the idea of a Ratatouille themed ride being added to the France pavilion. I still long for the glory days of EPCOT Center, and I worry about the future of the park’s growth/renovations. BUT, this like it will fit well in to the spirit of the pavilion, and on a more personal note, it will be great for young families like mine. It sounds like the kind of ride people of all ages will enjoy, and having it in World Showcase will be a great carrot to encourage my kids to explore a little longer.
Agree, with many other’s thoughts on here, so no reitterating them. Everyone is focused on Ratatouille, but you obviously forgot about an alternate attraction that would be based in Morocco?
Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage!
Oh, EPCOT. The park equivalent of man in a midlife crisis. At this point, I have lowered my expectations on its identity as long as it PICKS ONE! I fear a mixed bag of random. Whether or not I am for this ride will be influenced by so many other things (in addition to the ride’s execution, obviously). So many rumors to sort through to know how it will pan out!
They should do a Beauty and the Beast attraction in France!
This is actually more plausible to me. When we were at Epcot in February, all the merch in France was BATB.
That would definitely make much more sense and have more appeal to many! Great idea!
Having seen the Ratatouille attraction on YouTube, I was also slightly less impressed, but it isn’t that bad compared with Universal’s rides. I wasn’t blown away by Transformers unlike my impression of Spiderman. Ratatouille will benefit by being unlike anything else in Epcot. It also fits in the Paris pavilion. It will pull traffic away from the heavily congested Future World.
If your impression is it compares favorably with Toy Story Mania, then what’s the concern. I just returned from California Adventures’ version and felt impressed after not been on it for many years. Toy Story Mania is highly popular and I can see why. It’s just fun and the mechanics blew me away. You don’t know where it’s going and what to expect.
Let’s looks at what it does to the failures of Epcot.. . Imagination, Energy, Space, and the rest of World Showcase. It blows them away. That’s the best hope for Ratatouille.
Don’t judge it until you’ve ridden it! It has bags of charm and is really fun.
If you consider Universe of Energy and “the rest of World Showcase” to be among the failures of Epcot, then I fear that perhaps the spirit of Epcot is not for you.
The Rat is coming, Tom. As to what it means for the film we both love, I can’t say. I can’t say because I don’t know. Have heard conflicting information. And, no, it has no place at EPCOT whatsoever. It should be over at the park that opened in 1989, is an empty construction-filled pit and will have its third name soon. But it is what it is. This, like Guardians Tower in Anaheim, is Chappie showing how smart he is and how much he knows about the P&R biz. I will disagree with your assessment of the attraction, however. I think it is very strong and with a few tweaks (think a few Has, a few scents in certain places, a few added set pieces, which are likely in FL) it can be a really great attraction. If you compare it to Hunny Hunt and Mystic Manor, which employ the same basic ride system, then, sure, it comes up short.
Oh, and as to other World Showcase expansion. Let’s just say that there finally will be a new nation added, but it would appear with not even a film-based attraction. Shopping and dining (think Fogo de Chao) and drinking will be at the centre on this pavilion, which you might hear about in Anaheim soon (I am assuming you’d have to throw away your Disney Blogger to the Stars title if you weren’t at D23!)
That should read a few AAs … damn autocorrect!
“I think it is very strong and with a few tweaks (think a few AAs, a few scents in certain places, a few added set pieces, which are likely in FL) it can be a really great attraction. If you compare it to Hunny Hunt and Mystic Manor, which employ the same basic ride system, then, sure, it comes up short.”
I agree with the first part of that. If those things are added (and more is done to conceal the screens in the larger sets), this could be a great attraction. I really don’t feel like it’s *that* far from being good in WDSP. The flaws are all the more worse for me because they come off as laziness or a basic misunderstanding of how to integrate screens into a dark ride (how difficult would it have been for WDI to hire someone away from Universal Creative to work on this?!).
Frankly, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be compared to Hunny Hunt…an attraction that is now almost 20 years old and (I’m guessing) cost about the same amount or less than Ratatouille. (I’d also argue that Mystic Manor should be fair game for comparison, as they both serve very similar roles in their respective parks.)
I disagree about it now. I think at WDSP it is good. Very good. It’s the flaws you talk about that keep it from moving higher. I have some issue with its over-reliance on screens, but that is a product of who was running the show. Mr. WDI Film Based Attractions himself, Tom Fitzgerald. Unless anything has changed, guess who is in charge of the EPCOT portfolio now? As to comparing it to Hunny Hunt, it’s only similar in ride system. Would you compare Haunted Mansion to Buzz Lightyear because they are both based on Omnimovers? I actually think you are hypercritical of anything in WDSP because you don’t like the park. I can’t blame you since it is very ugly and doesn’t lend itself to photography in a way every other Disney park does. BUT … I’ve enjoyed its attractions far more than the Corpse of The Disney-MGM Studios for years. (Oh, but I do still agree that IF you are comparing that Rat is a lesser experience then HH and MM — and I still haven’t ridden the latter!)
I’m having trouble believing that this is actually Spirit commenting. The nicknames are far too nice and not nearly as creative as usual. There’s also not any acid dripping from every word. Hmmm.
My main disappointment here is that they’re considering cloning a unique attraction from DLP in the first place. I don’t have any statistics to back me up, but I’d suggest that DLP and WDW are a pair of international parks with the most visitor overlap (especially from UK guests, who have both destinations heavily marketed to them).
It also gives the lie to the original depiction of the Ratatouille attraction: it was explained (and I agree!) that the reason it would fit in and work in (real) Paris is because the land is based on “Pixar’s Paris”, not the real thing. Apart from both being called Paris, the Epcot Paris pavilion and Place de Remy have little in common. But now that rationale will be thrown away, and the build up of a detailed and faithful mock up of Paris will suddenly be let down by stepping into a “fake” Paris. It will detract from the merit of the pavilion in the same way as Frozen definitely has for Norway.
As for the attraction itself, I view Ratatouille as fine – and I think it’s sufficiently immersive. It is not, however, a cultural experience, and it would be a disappointment to me to see something cultural and valuable – which almost certainly inspired travel – be replaced by something purely for entertainment (and the Paris version is fun, but pretty mindless; the story would work regardless of setting).
Finally, it’s disappointing that new attractions so frequently come at the expense of another. Impressions de France may not be a popular attraction, but it has merit, and there are plenty of other pavilions with no real attractions at all. United Kingdom, Morocco, Japan, Italy, Germany… the sky’s the limit for amazing, immersive cultural attractions that would educate and entertain in those pavilions, why not augment one of those instead?
“It will detract from the merit of the pavilion in the same way as Frozen definitely has for Norway.”
I agree with most of what you’re saying, but I disagree with this. I think for some people, it might have this effect, but Norway has changed for the better in terms of our experience. Most of the time, we don’t do Frozen Ever After, the existence of which is confined to behind the attraction marquee. Beyond that, I’d say the expanded Norway area was tastefully done, and our experience in the pavilion was more or less the same as before.
I think the aggregate effect of cartoonified attractions can cheapen World Showcase, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case with a single addition (or two). I suppose reasonable minds may differ on that, though.
I agree with the assessment of ratatouille as a ride. It’s not my favorite, but I liked it I’m happy for anything that adds attractions to the world showcase.
Part of that is “adding”. In addition to just plain enjoying IdF (we visited Mont St Michel and Chenonceau just because of that film), I don’t want to replace one attraction with another, as Disney seems want to to. I’d like increasing crowds to be balanced by increasing numbers of attractions.
I think the real issue is increasing operational capacity of the park. If you trade a film that cycles through <1,000 guests per hour for a ride that does 2,200, that is helping with the crowd problem. It's not a 1-for-1.
True, it would be an improvement in capacity (and likely in crowd appeal), but why settle for “improve” when you can have both. Plus, IdF cannot cost much to run. What, 2 cast members?
Thank you for this really detailed analysis – very interesting. Love the aerial shots. I’ve never been to DLP, but as Ratatouille is one of my very fave movies, I am cautiously optimistic.
Totally agree with your opinion about TSMM, btw.
I can understand why people are excited for this, even if I personally am not. I have no doubt that most people will love it and not think twice about it when it opens. But I feel like it will be different for anyone who has a) experienced Spider-man or Transformers, and B) experienced one of the other rides utilizing this ride system (Hunny Hunt or Mystic Manor). Having experienced both the Universal rides and Hunny Hunt, all I see when I ride Ratatouille are its deficiencies, and how it fails to live up to those rides, how inappropriate it is for the ride system it is using. It’s not the game-changer some people seem to be hyping themselves up for, but there’s not an easy way to communicate that.
I’m just not eager to jump ahead into a future where World Showcase is filled with mediocre rides with tangentally related IP, but so many seem to welcome it and push for it, which is a bit disheartening; it means that so many of these people became fans of the parks for completely different reasons than I did.
On the other hand, if your only exposure to the trackless ride system is Luigi’s Festival of the Dance, this is a definite upgrade! 😉
Having never experienced the original version in Paris, I’ve been very excited about this rumor for some time. However, I am sad that it seem to come at the expense of a whole country pavilion in EPCOT. My ‘pie in the sky’ hopes for EPCOT has always been more countries, as well as more attractions, ideally filling out every empty pavilion with a new country. Still, I do hope if Ratatouille does make an appearance, it’s state of the art, and not years old ride tech.
Part of me feels the same way as you, but the realist in me says that if they haven’t filled any plots since the late 1980s, they aren’t going to miss one. This leaves a few other expansion pads, which is more than enough for the 2 other pavilions that are currently on the table.
As for Ratatouille: the Adventure, I would not say that anything is wrong with the tech from a staleness perspective. That ride still feels fresh and current. It’s more a matter of how the physical sets and screens are integrated with one another. There’s a lot of room for improvement in that regard, and hopefully it occurs!
For what it’s worth, part of the reason I think TSMM is so popular is because (I believe) it’s the only ride-based attraction at DHS that doesn’t have a height restriction. Parents of little ones looking for something other than a show are hard pressed to find anything these days. Perhaps being the only choice and the relief of parents finding something, anything that their kiddos enjoy makes TSMM seem more spectacular than it is or makes it more popular than it would otherwise be. For what it is, I like TSMM, but it’s certainly not a priority for me. But my 5 year old adores it. Do you have any idea how TSMM rates among guests at DCA?
That’s how I’d explain the inflated wait times, but I’m talking guest satisfaction scores. Now, those also could be inflated because it’s unique within the park’s lineup, but there’s no way this should be in the top 5 of anyone (over the age of 10). Then again, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster is routinely in the top 5, too, and that’s an just off-the-shelf roller coaster in the dark with some modest blacklight cutouts (and a fun pre-show).
I think the moral of the story is that the general public has very different expectations for attractions than fans analyzing them through an intellectual prism.
(I’m not sure how Toy Story Mania performs in terms of guest satisfaction at DCA. Last I heard, it does fairly well, but not top 5.)
Totally agree. I work in user experience, and there’s a difference in people truly liking something and people having their expectations set that they SHOULD like something and thus they report that they do. For example, because TSMM is hard FP to get, people might consider the experience of TSMM better than a FP that’s an easier get. Because they expect TSMM to be better because it took work to get, they may report it to be better, even if it’s not. It may be that the exact same ride at DCA with a similar population doesn’t rank it as highly because the “work” factor is mitigated, i.e., it’s not as tough to get on the attraction. Similarly, Radiator Springs Racers may rate highly because it takes strategy, time, and work to get to experience it (or it could rate highly simply because it’s a really great attraction). I could explain it better but it would take a PowerPoint deck, and nobody wants that.
I wouldn’t put it in my top 5, but I like it a lot because it’s one of the few attractions that is fun. I define most everything else as entertainment because you just sit back and take it in. The Buzz ride is much harder to play and not as much fun, in my opinion. It’s nice to have something interactive.
As a game designer, I think the main reason TSMM rates high is that it’s “juicy” in that the effects of what you do show up on screen immediately in a way that is visual and highly satisfying. Think of Candy Crush vs. Minesweeper. Buzz is less fun because while you see your score at the end of the ride, there isn’t as much in-game to let you know how you are doing, it’s not responsive in the same way. It also keeps mixing up the games and rapidly takes you from one to the next so you don’t have a chance to get bored. Personally, I find it a bit jerky and will be fine skipping it next trip in order to ride RnR for the first time in over a decade. Wondering how it’s aged!
I’m excited for Ratatouille. Maybe they’ll bring back Remy to Chefs De France to build up some hype! (Fingers crossed)
I will say I love Toy Story Mania, it’s the only thing we like in Hollywood Studios now that Backlot Tour and Stunt Car closed. We don’t like roller coasters (as with many Disney fans–those folks are over at Universal for a reason), but this ride has competition and interaction AND with popular Disney characters. That makes it as good or better than many other rides around WDW. It’s also 1,000 times better with the technology than the frustrating Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom.
“Do you have any idea how TSMM rates among guests at DCA?”
I would think pretty high. DCA is a park that has lots of current great attractions in a compact park. Lines aren’t nearly as long since it has just about every other popular ride there. DCA has Soarin, the new Guardians ride, Radiator Springs Racers, TSM, and Screamin’. The lines aren’t artificially driven high by a lack of attractions, which is what you see at Disney World.
This is how rides rank in terms of standby wait times.
1. Guardians. Runs out of Fastpasses first.
1. Radiator Springs Racers. Ranked #1 also since during a day, the standby wait times will interchange between it and Guardians especially after both run out of Fastpass.
4. TSM. Fastpasses will run out before Grizzly.
5. Grizzly Rapids Ride although the standby time during hot days could exceed TSM even though Fastpasses are still available.